A fable for our times:
by Leonard Pitts Jr.
Once upon a time, there lived a stupid giant.
The giant had not always been stupid. Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say the giant had once revered intelligence, reason and the byproducts thereof. Indeed, the giant was renowned for an ingenuity and standard of living that made it the envy of the world.
But much of the world did more than envy the giant. Much of the world admired and respected it. Its basic decency, along with its strength and intelligence, set it apart.
There came a time, however, when, though the giant retained its strength and arguably even its decency, it lost its intelligence.
No one can say exactly how and when the loss occurred. There was no great blast of thunder and lightning to herald it, no sudden instant when the giant's intelligence plummeted dramatically from the instant before.
No, stupidity crept over the giant with the stealth of twilight, a product less of one abrupt moment than of a thousand moments of complacency, of resting on laurels, of allowing curiosity to be teased and bullied out of bright children, of dumbing down textbooks so kids could get better grades with less work, of using ``elite'' like a curse word. And, of behaving as if knowing things, and being able to extrapolate from and otherwise make critical use of, the things one knows, was a betrayal of some fundamental human authenticity -- some need to keep it real.
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